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A novel recombinant strain of Beet curly top virus collected from pepper in Mexico

Marjo Ala Poikela: University of Idaho

<div><em>Beet curly top virus</em> (BCTV) is a curtovirus transmitted by beet leafhopper, and affecting multiple crops in desert areas of North America. A sample positive for BCTV was collected in South-Central region of Chihuahua, Mexico, from a pepper plant exhibiting stunting, yellowing, and leaf curling. Whole genome of the virus isolate, BCTV-Mx, was sequenced and found to represent a new recombinant between BCTV-Worland and BCTV-CFH parental strains. An infectious clone of the virus was designed and used to study biological properties of BCTV-Mx in multiple hosts. BCTV-Mx was able to replicate in <em>Nicotiana benthamiana</em>, in two out of five tested cultivars of sugar beet, and in six tested cultivars of tomato, inducing moderate symptoms, which included stunting, vein clearing, and leaf curling. Based on the unique combination of biological and sequence characteristics, this novel recombinant, BCTV-Mx, is proposed to represent a distinct strain of the virus.</div>